I started scrapbooking because my older sister was doing it. Truly. My sister wanted an 11×14 Pioneer scrapbook album she saw at the fabric store so my mom got it for her. This is before scrapbooking became all the rage, or at least before it made it up to our very remote neck of the woods.
I watched her put together pages from her high school graduation and was fascinated. My mom bought me my own album a couple of weeks later and I got to work.
I was already a saver. I didn’t carry a camera everywhere (35mm back then), but I saved a lot of things from big events. Now those those things had a place to go. I had pictures because my mom let me borrow the family camera for big events.
I suppose this is what made me an event scrapbooker (I don’t like the term). This is what also made me scrapbook “in arrears” (i.e. being perpetually behind). I didn’t define it then, I just got out the boxes and went with it. It’s only now that I’m starting to capture more everyday things with my camera.
Cutting and pasting really appealed to me. I didn’t see cutting and pasting as something that made me creative. I actually thought I wasn’t artistic and cutting and pasting was all I could manage. I wish I had a picture of this, but at one point, I covered an entire wall in my room from floor to ceiling with collages.*
I didn’t have anything fancy. Just some glue, tape, scissors, construction paper and an inkjet printer. My supplies today are a bit more sophisticated but they are really just variations of that original core. I’m still convinced that you only need these few tools and little else if you want to start scrapbooking.
I started with no instructions. I am completely self-taught and still to this day have never taken a class. I’ve only done what I think looks good to me and that’s it. I’m still refining my technique, but I wouldn’t change anything that I’ve already done.
My sister documented her high school graduation in 4 layouts and then never touched the scrapbook again. I kept at it, even when there were long periods when I didn’t have time for it. It’s not for everyone. But it is for me.
*I used magazines ranging from Smithsonian to Seventeen. No, I didn’t glue stuff to the wall, I measured and cut big pieces of newspaper, did the collages on those, then put them up. Not a speck of wall space was left.